Recently I have been doing lot of study and research into ancient North America cultures. I have taken particular interest in the first true cities in North America and they are far older than many of us are told and taught in school. They are also far more grand.
The oldest large and well preserved city (my word for it) in North America is today known as “Poverty Point” and you can go visit it in Northeast Louisiana. This settlement was very advanced, had massive trade networks with other locations. It was built 3500 years ago and was at its peak about 3000 years ago. More impressive this settlement was about 900 acres in size and supported 4,000 – 5,000 inhabitants.
More there is no real evidence of “agriculture” at this location. The diet of the people was classic “hunter gatherer” consisting of game, fish, reptiles and shell fish for protein sources. They is also a lot of evidence of wild plants and mast crops being harvested from this location.
While today’s episode will not be about this settlement I will use it as a launch pad to explain how sustainable a civilization without agriculture can be while not limiting population to what we would call “clan” or “tribal” populations. What Poverty Point shows us is a true hunter gatherer civilization complete with art, engineering, entertainment, a division of labor and a general peaceful existence with little sign of warfare. At a time by the way when warfare was far more common than many of the romanticized stories of first peoples indicate.
This location is also the site of one of the oldest known pyramids on the planet and the civilization lasted for over 1,000 years. It was clearly “master planned” and allowed a population of 5,000 to live well on an area again of only 900 acres. Clearly there is something we can learn from this as we conduct our thought experiment today.
Join Me Today to Discuss….
- My understanding right now of what life was like at Poverty Point and what I see via the Permaculture Lens
- The lessons in the most sustainable civilization model we have to look at
- The vast majority of calories came from meat sources, many high in fats
- No plowing or agriculture was required
- Very little animal husbandry existed, almost none
- There was likely horticulture going on that we simply can’t see at this point
- Water was key to this societies survival
- There was extensive use of on contour earth works
- There appears to have been ample room for mast bearing trees on site (no evidence reported)
- The people seemed to have dealt in “precious stones” and had extensive external commerce
- The society was highly egalitarian, almost everyone had similar housing
- While there were clearly specialists, it would appear most were also generalists
- The most stable societies had extensive trade
- The position was incredibly defensible if such was ever required
- Housing was built with on site materials
- Many functions were communal and involved shared resources
- It appears that work was done swiftly when needed, but leisure time was extensive otherwise
- The culture had art, science, astronomy, etc.
- It Was Not the Only One
- Final thoughts
Resources for today’s show…
- Join the Members Brigade
- TSPC on Discord
- TSPC Group on Telegram (group chat)
- TSPC Telegram Channel (just messages from me)
- Jack on Flote
- Jack on MeWe
- Join Me on Odysee
- Search with Privacy and Get Paid in Crypto on Presearch!
- Buy Bitcoin on CoinBase
- Course I Mentioned on Ancient Civilizations – What I have uploaded so far.
- Specific Lesson I Used Today – Poverty Point: North America’s First City
- Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
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